Add section on mailinglists/newsletter

I’d like to see a section on privacy friendly mailinglists or newsletters. One can self-host mailman, but I was looking for a mailinglist that I can just use and trust. There is a decent feature overlap of mailinglists and newsletter systems. It would be great to have something that does not store any emails.

Mailing list/newsletter are like an even slower version of the Fediverse, where a mailing list group is like an instance of Mastadon… or a forum like this, even?

With the difference of the interface, which matters to people a great deal.
Your argument would also include messengers for example.

I am not aware of a forum software or fediverse instance that does not store any data and only transmits emails?

1 Like

I assume this is where something like Substack would live?

1 Like

I suppose adding this section would depend on the scope of Privacy Guides. I see some information about scope on the about page.

So, one question may be, is the scope broad enough that mailing lists would be included? An example of a similar project that has broader scope is GitHub - pluja/awesome-privacy: Awesome Privacy - A curated list of services and alternatives that respect your privacy because PRIVACY MATTERS.. But that project doesn’t have the opinionated depth that I see on Privacy Guides.


I would interpret mailing lists to include Substack, along with Ghost, Buttondown etc.

I see that the OP opened Add section on mailinglists/newsletter · Issue #328 · pluja/awesome-privacy · GitHub so hopefully they get responses there.

This could be something we cover in a future self-hosting section, but honestly this is probably very low priority. Tools for publishing content are not really the first things people think of when they think of privacy, there’s a lot of more important topics we need to tackle first.

How would this work?

Thank you @jonah. Yes, I didn’t know about awesome-privacy, but with the mention of @retouch I figured it might be a good idea to post there as well.

By now I see mailinglists and newsletters as seperate things to tackle.
For newsletters the market leader is mailchimp and they do all kinds of tracking, are not GDPR complient, and you don’t know where your user’s data goes. There are some alternatives here: European alternatives to Mailchimp | European Alternatives – the biggest challenge here is to deliver messages in a way that they don’t end up in the spam folder. The most promising solution I’ve seen so far is self-hosted + AWS SES. Even better would be a trustworthy provider such as Protonmail, Riseup etc. Idk if they’re trustworthy, but they’re FOSS and you can self-host: and they support AWS SES.

For mailinglists the best alternative to google groups is probably riseup lists. Email is still the only communication channel everyone has, so I see mailinglists as a group chat, and in group chats you do care about privacy and encryption.

I personally use Substack for my newsletter, for what it’s worth. I’ve reviewed their privacy policy and found it to be adequate for my needs…

To be honest, I don’t even know what criteria we would use for a newsletter category. Email is simply not a private communication tool. A more privacy-respecting solution would probably be to just run a blog instead to let readers read with RSS, but that is probably not the answer you’re looking for.

I like Discourse (this forum software) in mailing list mode for self-hosted mailing lists myself.